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46 Ratings

King of Jazz

Directed by John Murray Anderson
United States, 1930


Intended as Universal Pictures’ entry in the “all-star musical” cycle of the early talkie era, King of Jazz is certainly the most elaborate of the bunch, though far from the most successful financially.

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King of Jazz Directed by John Murray Anderson

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1930 | Winner: Best Art Direction

National Film Preservation Board

2013 | Winner: National Film Registry

A succession of musical and comic acts staged and strung together with vivid originality by Broadway veteran John Murray Anderson (for his sole screen-directing credit), the film has historical importance for several reasons, one being that it’s the movie debut of a crooner named Bing Crosby.
March 30, 2018
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A forgotten pop artifact painstakingly restored to its “two-strip” Technicolor glory, King of Jazz is a jaw-droppingly garish revue of songs and comedy sketches. . . . A technical marvel, the film utilizes the first Technicolor animation, and expert use of superimposition and crane shots.
March 03, 2018
It has a potpourri of special effects to enliven musical numbers – super-impositions, imaginative sets for the dancers, and more. But the camera, shackled by the as yet not fully understood demands of sound too often stares blandly from front on, never joining in the dance. The film was not a success on its release, and now is much more a curiosity, a brief time capsule of popular variety entertainment of the time.
September 14, 2016
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